It’s been exactly one year and one month since I wrote on my blog. This may not shock you as much as it shocked me but after spending a good 10 minutes trying to remember my log in info for my site, I’m not really surprised.
I am hoping this is a lot like riding a bike but just to be safe, I have my stabilizers firmly fitted to my wheels.
Ok, so now I have a crappy analogy out of the way, why have I not been writing for the past year?
For many of you who have been following my blog or presence online for a while you will know that porn has been a pretty big part of my life, for better or worse. I’ll not rehash my story here but you can check up some of my journey and evolution here.
Backing up just a little, I’ve been involved with the ministry xxxchurch for about 5 years as a blogger, small group leader, coach and teacher. Then a couple of years ago I was introduced to Seth Taylor and later his brother David. With them I found kindred spirits in how I thought about porn, addiction and spirituality.
Hearing Seth and David’s story and their journey finding freedom from addiction, anxiety and depression was something that blew apart how I approached God. Seth and David wrote a book called Feels Like Redemption, and once I started reading the first few pages of an early draft, I knew I needed to get to know these guys more.
I had grown tired of the usual, “3 simple steps to defeating porn”. I was tired of the cliches and solutions that were based around controlling behavior. There had to be something better to dealing with this, I told myself.
Seth and I began to dialogue over email.
Simultaneously at this point I had begun practicing meditation, processing (a type of visual emotional healing) and allowing myself to be ok with doubt and the mystery of God. Over the last few years I’ve started to become interested in the more mystic side of Christianity. I started to question why Christians hardly ever experience the healing we claim to believe in, dealing with the fact that it was kind of arrogant of me to believe I could understand how God operates.
Was a filter for our computers the best we could come up with?
Seth and David have helped me as much as anyone in shaping not so much what I believe, but how I believe.
A mini personal reformation if you will.
They developed a new program called My Pilgrimage. More the framework for a new type of spiritual journey than a “program” to “defeat” porn.
Then, last February, I had the privilege to begin leading 20 small groups each week; guiding guys through this pretty radical idea of healing and transformation.
This has been my job. This has been what I’ve devoted pretty much every waking minute to for 10 months.
And let me tell you, it’s been one hell of a year. It’s been exhausting. It’s been frustrating. It’s been maddening, exciting and did I say exhausting. I’ve seen guys go from being held down and clinging to a god that has simply just not been working for them, to finding a freedom from addiction that they never imagined was possible.
Many have joined the groups and many have stopped, not experiencing anything substantial.
I don’t blame them. If we decide to partake in such a journey we are going to asked to bring up our pain and wounds and face it and deal with it. It asks us to put aside our identities for a moment or two, so that we can deconstruct the beliefs that need to be reconstructed.
There have been times where I’ve just wanted to ignore my email reminder to start a group at 730am in the morning or 930pm in the evening.
There are the groups I thought were going to be difficult and stressful but which have pushed me more than any other.
Others have joined and formed bonds and relationships with each other that will live on.
These guys I’ve met are not just clients or participants in a group; but people who I now call friends. They have taught me so much.
Then there is Brittany who has been unbelievable in encouraging me and picking me up off the floor, sacrificing her evenings with me so I could lead small groups 3 evenings out of the week.
Those 10 months were the most professionally, personally, emotionally and spiritually fulfilling and draining, I’ve ever had.
So the last thing I’ve usually felt like doing was to sit down and write.
And just before Christmas it came to an end. 800 small group meetings later and I’m at peace. I’m ready for the next thing. But first I need to breathe and take stock. I’m excited for what’s coming and I want to keep moving but it’s time to have a Sabbath.
I’ll post more soon about how this year has changed me and expect much more writing from me than this year. Shouldn’t be hard.
Until then, Peace and Grace my friends.
Paul, Thanks for writing again! I like your “mini Reformation” analogy particularly. For me Transformed speaks to the condition of mind, whilst reformed speaks more to the heart of the matter and cleansing of it’s former condition, driving our mind, seat of our thinking in a new direction. Keep blogging my friend. Grace and Peace
Thanks for reading and thanks for the encouragement to keep going Bill